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Growling noise w/ac engaged

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frankf54

Guest
84 when the ac unit is engaged there is a growling noise and can feel a vibration in the steering whell,this happens when idle or driving I do not see the compressor "shaking" nor is it loose,any ideas would be greatly appreciater,this is my first vette and Iam trying....thanks,also by the way has all new wires,cap ,rotor etc and sensors.

By the way great info in here
 

c4cruiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
971
Location
Lacey, WA USA
Corvette
87 Gold Z52 Coupe 02 EB Z51 Supercharged Coupe
My 87 does the same thing and from what I was told, it's the bearings in the unit. I would get it replaced before it seizes up. If the seals are holding the refrigerant in, the unit will cool, but it's only a matter of time before the compressor goes out.

You can find a rebuilt compressor for around $130 to 150 but have the replacement done by a reputable shop that does A/C work. The system will have to be purged of the refrigerant and replaced after the new compressor is installed.

You might want to have a new accumulator installed at the time (some shops recommend this) and also consider going to R134a as a replacement refrigerant for the old R12. Discuss this with the shop before getting the work done. Some shops will "buy" the old R12 from you as part of the job. R134a requires different oil and a new orifice. The system can be cleaned of the old R12 oil and that avoids problems down the road.
 
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frankf54

Guest
Thanks for the response,the R-12 has been changed a while back Ill look into the bearing possibility,Ive also noticed the engine doesnt "kick up" in idle when the unit is turned on and was wondering if this was causeing the engine to "starve" air,or fuel not sure what triggers the faster idle could this also cause the same vibration.. Ill try the old long screw driver trick and listen to the compresser when its engaged
 

lagasvd

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
60
Location
Pennsylvania
Corvette
1986 Indy Pace Car
I had the same "growling" noises on my 86 when the AC kicked on. It ended up being the idler arm bearing for the serpintine (sp) belt. Listen to this with a screwdriver and check the tension on it. I believe you can check the tension on yours by checking the marker on the idler arm it self. You can listen to the bearinig with the old screwdriver too. If this is the problem a new bearing from NAPA ($9) and about 30 minutes and you'll be fixed up.
 
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frankf54

Guest
lagasvd,thanks for insight I did the screw driver thing and that bearing does sound nasty,Ill pick one up thanks Im sure thats it......
 
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rrthomas1963

Guest
same noise

i have a 1985 with the same noise i have traced it back to the smog air pump. i pulled the old one off and it felt like the bearing was out. i could see it wobbling when the engine was running.
 
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Robert

Guest
I have an '84 also with that noise...and vibration. Funny thing, I also have an '89 Astro Van that does the exact same thing especially when I turn the steering wheel. BTW that is when I hear/feel it on the Vette.....when turning the wheel.
 
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frankf54

Guest
thats true I do feel it in the steering wheel ,I have to rule out the rack its brandy new,aim going to check the air pump bearing and the idler bearing ,that may cause the vibration in the steering I think...
 

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